All posts by: Magazine Editor


a man in running gear stands in front of the brandenburg gate in Berlin Germany

Meet a Retriever—Brian Souders, Ph.D., globetrotter and study abroad champion

Currently, Brian Souders is the associate director for global learning in the Center for Global Engagement at UMBC. But Brian, who came to UMBC in 2000 to be the university’s inaugural study abroad coordinator, has worn a number of hats in his 20+ years as a Retriever. He’s a two time alum (Ph.D. ’09, language, literacy, and culture, M.A. ’19, TESOL), and after years of helping faculty and students achieve their overseas learning and research goals, Brian recently took part in his own Fulbright exchange program. Take it away, Brian! Q: What’s one essential thing you’d want another Retriever to… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Brian Souders, Ph.D., globetrotter and study abroad champion

an older man stands in front of a flag that says Paralyzed Veterans of America

Meet a Retriever—Army veteran Tim Besse, M.A. ’17, management of aging services

Meet Tim Besse, M.A. ’17, management of aging services, a veteran of the United States Army who now works as an advocate for veterans with neurological injuries or diseases. As a student in the Erickson School, Tim made connections with a fellow student that sticks with him to this day. Thanks for sharing your story, Tim! Q: What’s one essential thing you’d want another Retriever to know about you? A: As far back as I can remember, I aspired to go to college and pursue a career that was dependent upon my college education. I enlisted in the U.S. Army… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Army veteran Tim Besse, M.A. ’17, management of aging services

A volleyball game at UMBC

Meet a Retriever—Aysia Miller ’24, volleyball player and biology major

Meet Aysia Miller, a senior on the America East championship women’s volleyball team at UMBC. Originally from Mililani, Hawaii, Aysia is majoring in biology and minoring in bioinformatics. As a student-athlete and scholarship recipient, Aysia says she’s found a community at UMBC that lets her dive deep into the STEM fields that interest her while supporting her on and off the volleyball court. Q: What’s the one thing you’d want someone who hasn’t joined the UMBC community to know about the support you find here?  A: UMBC has people that can fit you perfectly. There will always be someone that… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Aysia Miller ’24, volleyball player and biology major

Four alumni hold books in front of a large quilt.

Meet a Retriever —Diane Tichnell ’70, political science, Founding Four alum

Meet Diane Tichnell ’70, a political science graduate of UMBC’s very first class of Retrievers! As a member of UMBC’s “Founding Four” group of alums from the university’s first four graduating years, Diane has stayed involved with her alma mater, participating as an editor of This Belongs To Us, a collection of Founding Four stories, and establishing the Tichnell Aging Gracefully Graduate Scholarship to support students in the Erickson School of Aging Studies. Take it away, Diane! Q: What’s one essential thing you’d want another Retriever to know about you? A: I have been a loyal Retriever since that first day on campus,… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever —Diane Tichnell ’70, political science, Founding Four alum

a gray ball with a long, skinny, light gray tail; a smaller purple ball is attached where the ball and tail join.

Vampire viruses prey on other viruses to replicate themselves − and may hold the key to new antiviral therapies

Ivan Erill and colleagues discovered a new kind of relationship between viruses, where a satellite virus that needs its “helper” virus to replicate attaches to the helper’s neck to make sure they enter the host cell at the same time. Continue Reading Vampire viruses prey on other viruses to replicate themselves − and may hold the key to new antiviral therapies

Two individuals stand smiling indoors wearing gray UMBC Homecoming t-shirts.

A love letter to Homecoming

When you think about UMBC’s Homecoming, you undoubtedly conjure images of carnival rides, black and gold decorations, and the beloved Puppy Parade. But what Homecoming is really about, for us, is the people. We asked social media intern Allison John ‘24, psychology, to share what it was like to walk a mile (or more accurately, many, many miles) in her shoes during this year’s Homecoming. Continue Reading A love letter to Homecoming

a group of people in Minnie Mouse ears jumps in front of an exhibit that says Mirror, Mirror

Embarking on ‘Happily Ever After’ 

By Roni Rosenthal For those who grew up—or still are—spellbound by movies like Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, and The Lion King, you are part of what some historians dub the “Disney Generation.” Your childhood joins forces with a collective nostalgia that weaves Disney’s enchanting tales into our very own identities. In a country with many competing cultural icons, Disney—for better or worse—remains a singular unifying brand for anyone who spent their childhood in the U.S. Smithsonian museum specialist and curator Bethanee Bemis ’09, history and anthropology, M.A. ’11, history, is an expert in weaving narratives with identity and… Continue Reading Embarking on ‘Happily Ever After’ 

Printed text on yellow background as a word cloud, including words "Retriever Essentials. Community partnerships. Save-a-swipe"

Retriever Essentials student team is runner-up in a nationwide competition to address world hunger

Retriever Essentials, represented by student volunteers Nhi Nguyen ’25, biochemistry and bioinformatics, and Ben Bhattarai ’23, biology and psychology, is a second place finalist in the 2023 Wilbur Ellis Innovation Award. Announced at the end of September, the honorable mention award—given to only four schools—recognizes the student teams with the most innovative strategies for providing food for a growing world population. Continue Reading Retriever Essentials student team is runner-up in a nationwide competition to address world hunger

Noah Cruz '24, a psychology and biological sciences student, poses on the stairs.

Meet a Retriever—Noah Cruz ’24, first-generation scholar and mentor

Meet Noah Cruz, a senior pursuing B.S. degrees in both psychology and biological sciences on the pre-med/Ph.D. track. As a first generation student and a member of multiple scholars programs, Noah takes part in student organizations and undergraduate research while also following his passions of advocating for underrepresented students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. We can’t wait to see where Noah goes from here, and we’re excited to share his story. Q: Tell us about yourself. What would you want another Retriever to know about you? A: I am a senior concurrently pursuing dual bachelor of science… Continue Reading Meet a Retriever—Noah Cruz ’24, first-generation scholar and mentor

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